While Universal Pictures scored a much-needed box office hit last weekend with Despicable Me, which grossed $60.1 million, the animated feature generated just 45% of revenue from 3D screens, the lowest percentage for a 3D release this year.
The results point to the possibility that consumers think not all movies are worth paying a premium for a 3D experience, which could affect ongoing early rollout of 3DTVs, compatible Blu-ray Disc players and 3D movies.
Richard Greenfield, analyst with BTIG Research in New York, argues that theater operators and studios risk alienating increasing numbers of moviegoers from the 3D format by charging high ticket prices.
In a survey of 2,600 consumers, Greenfield found that 77% of respondents believe the average $4 premium for a 3D ticket (compared to 2D) too excessive, including about 37% who said they would not pay extra to see a movie in 3D. More than 80% of respondents said they had seen a 3D movie.
Agreed, the premiums are excessive, but we must remember that there is competition for 3-D capable screens, as several stereoscopic movies are playing currently (TOY STORY 3, DESPICABLE ME and (ugh) THE LAST AIRBENDER.)
I never realized it costs so much. So, to use an example, my local IMAX theater has to pay $90,000 for two prints of Avatar 3D in IMAX??
EVERYTHING about IMAX is big . . . and expensive:
The lamphouse on top of the IMAX projector utilizes two 15,000-watt liquid-cooled, short-arc xenon lamps. The lamps weigh 10 pounds each, and are nearly two feet in length. Costing more than $6,000 each, the lamps have a life expectancy of only about 1,200 hours of operation and are replaced 4 times per year. Because of the extreme high-pressure xenon gas inside the quartz glass envelope of the lamp, projectionists must wear ballistic safety gear when changing out a lamp. If dropped, the xenon lamp would explode with the destructive force of a hand grenade.